Data Replay Services

Computer Crime / Digital Discovery / CCTV Image Recovery / Computer Forensics

If your hard disk crashes, is your data covered by the manufacturer’s warranty ?

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(Author’s Update: Data recovery work under warranty is undertaken in the UK by Data Recovery London (http://www.data-recovery-london.net/)

Data recovery warranty http://www.data-recovery-london.netThis was a question that was recently asked on a TV programme. A man’s hard disk crashed and he had lost all his data. Fortunately he was able to get the broken hard disk replaced because of the warranty, but the cost of the data recovery was not included.

To retrieve the data he had sent his hard drive to a data recovery company to get it recovered. The price tag was about £800. But, he also wanted to have that extra cost covered by the same warranty.

Warranties from any hard disk manufacturers don’t include restoration of data. That said, with the long life time and high durability of today’s hard disks perhaps this is something hard disk manufacturers may offer in the future?

Data recovery companies are usually very good at recovering data from most types of conventional hard disk failure – they are not so good at recovering data from drives that have been involved in fires and floods but these are quite rare situations.

Obviously, it’s always worthwhile to backup all your data or at least backup the data that is most important for you. This is the best warranty against data loss.

If you only use your computer for leisure, playing games or surfing the internet you may not need to take any backup at all. But today, more and more people store important information on their computers – documents and family pictures for example. Others store data vital to their professional lives too – this can represent years of work such as an academic thesis legal papers. Most people store at least some important information such as address books, emails, text documents, family pictures, music or company records.

Should you take backup? If so, what type of backup is best for you?

This all depends on the value of the data should it be lost, the time it will take to recreate lost data, and the cost to make the backup in the first place.

In most cases the data you need to backup is limited to specific files or folders. If that is the case you don’t need to backup the complete hard drive and the cost to make backup is reduced. If you only need to backup documents, emails and address books then there are many cheaper alternatives including USB memory sticks, online backup or backup to CD’s/DVD’s.

If you often use important software from the internet then you need to take a full backup of the hard disk at least once every month. This is because nearly all software programs store system related information in the registry, which if lost may mean you are no longer able to run your software.

As an alternative, make sure that you save the installation files and any accompanied software registration keys in one specific folder after you have downloaded the software. If you do this and include the folder in one of your regular smaller backups, then you will not be too badly effected should your hard drive fail.

Another way to deal with system downtime if you have a hard disk crash is to create and keep a disk image. This is a snapshot of the entire hard disk which can be used to restore your computer on your new hard disk. Included in the disk image software is a boot utility. From it you can create boot diskettes or boot CD’s.

Written by Betty

September 17th, 2013 at 12:42 pm